I never felt much included by the WASP
establishment in Canada, though I was part of the first family of Asians that
made it Downtown as directors of The Vancouver Board of Trade, the Vancouver
General Hospital Foundation, the Vancouver Food Bank and other mainstream
To the first wave of visiting Hong Kong
Chinese to North America after the Cultural Revolution in 1966, I was too much
of a 'banana' (white on the inside, yellow on the outside). For too many
years, I was confused as to my identity. Asians with a homogenous culture
were confused by my western upbringing, which promotes individuality.
Not until after my working experience as
a professional in the inner court of one of the world's wealthiest
my temporary transplantation to Hong Kong, did I realize the range of my rainbow
experiences. The opportunity enabled me to make profitable investments and
contribute to the additional net worth to the billions already documented in the
business world's list of big families.
Turns out that my value-add is in my
ability to have Asian focus while operating well in a Western world. As
Asian wealth continues to increase in the next millennium, I believe these
Asians will also increase their wealth in the west. My experience
taught me good deals are difficult to find any place in the world; it will be
prudent investments that ensure the wealth of future generations.
So many mistakes in business are rooted
in miscommunication when, in fact, individual like myself who are experienced
cross-cultural interpreters can see there is a meeting of minds but an inability
to display the appropriate intent, due to cultural context of different systems.
This is an effort to define on anecdotal
terms, the differences between East and West, with positive benefit for both as
a goal. After the changeover of Hong Kong to Chinese rule the Chinese
Diaspora worldwide has spurred for the first time ever, a generation of western
educated Asians who are well traveled and oriented to taking advantage of the
newest technology and concepts. Persons like youthful Richard Li, who
brought MTV and English language television programs like BBC News to China and
India with STAR-TV, the world's first satellite television network spanning from
Teheran to Taiwan, Papua-New Guinea to Russia. World wide deal making is
norm that already sets the stage for global business in this millenium.
I miss Asia for the excitement of the 'anything
is possible' attitude but prefer the lifestyle in the West - the fresh air
and open space especially. Soulless materialism and
aging demographics of the North American population is spurring an introspection
and growth of spiritualism, which seems unprecedented. There seems to be
more talk of solutions in health and well being combining the practice of modern
medicine together with holistic approaches to energy and flow. Perhaps I
am indicative of the growing awareness of Asians (and Westerners) in search of
themselves. The path to combine the best of East and West is a course set
for me over 20 years ago when I selected all Asian Studies electives in my
training for commerce at the University of British Columbia.
Self-discovery and my own curiosity
enabled the discovery of duality of combining East and West as a strength.
My collection of experiences has given me the reputation with Hong Kong tycoons
for effecting profitable investments on three continents and a unique
understanding of the Asian perspective. Seems that Asia's mysterious ways are
not so mysterious after all.
by Andrea Eng